Tour operator Avanti Destinations reports that year-to-date bookings in England, Scotland and especially Ireland are on the rise. Ireland bookings are up 30 percent over 2015, and it now ranks as Avanti’s fifth most popular destination in Europe, after Italy, the UK, France and Spain, Avanti said.
This year the company has introduced several two- to four-night fixed-departure, small escorted tours in Scotland, which have become top sellers: “Orkney and Scotland’s Northern Coast”, “Isle of Skye” and “Speyside Whiskey Tour”. The tours can be part of a longer FIT itinerary in the UK, said Avanti Founder and President Harry Dalgaard.
Avanti has also introduced a new eight-night self-drive “Live Like a Clan Chief” itinerary in Scotland, featuring Edinburgh and the Highlands with overnight stays in castles. Castle and manor house bookings are up over 200 percent in Ireland versus last year, a trend Dalgaard attributes to the popularity of TV programs like Downton Abbey.